Wednesday, March 12, 2014

UNA Directors' Meeting - follow-up report, March 12, 2014

The UNA Board meeting had a couple of surprises last night.  Most notable of all was a need to add an in camera session to the meeting that had a collateral effect of displacing the parking pilot project motion to the end of the meeting following the in camera session.

We had a presentation from the Norma Rose Point School PAC playground-fundraising committee regarding their planned fully accessible three unit playground at the new school site.  The new school, on the site of the old U Hill Highschool, is a K-8 school. The school will be one of the most modern and progressive facilities operated by the Vancouver School Board when it is opened this coming fall.  However, under the provincial regulations there is no funding for the playground!  Hard to believe, but that is true.  Just the same, the VSB has come up with a $50,000 contributions, the 150 parents currently attached to the school have raised $20,000, a few corporate sponsors have given modest donations.  Last night the UNA made a contribution of $12,500.  The overall play ground budget for the three required school playgrounds is, however about $300,000.  The play ground committee had asked for a contribution of $100,000. This is what the UNA contributed to the skateboard park that graces the ground new the arena and parkade on Thunderbird Blvd. I am not certain why our contribution was capped at $12,500.  It would seem that we can do better given the importance of an accessible playground, our past history supporting playgrounds not in our UNA area, and the fact that many of our children make up the population of Norma Rose Point School.  I intend to bring this forward to the Board again with the intent to increase our funding contribution to this important and worthy project.

The other outcomes of the meeting include:
  1. Passing the animal control bylaw committee's recommendation not to ban specific aggressive breeds of dogs, but to rely upon a generic definition of an aggressive dog.  The committee will be asked to consider the idea of listing specific breeds, but their sentiment seems to be that it is better to define an aggressive dog rather than banning specific breeds.  Having owned dogs in the past I can appreciate the committee's sentiment.  Yet, there are dogs that are bred specifically for violence and aggression and I wonder why we should not error on the side of precaution and both define a generically aggressive dog AND ban breeds with documented histories of violence and that are bred for violence.
  2. Approving the appointment of new standing committee memberships and welcoming Andrew Parr and Carole Jolley to the Board as UBC's new appointees who replace Ian Burges and Lisa Colby.
  3. The board also approved setting up a community survey working group to be headed up by Prod Laquin.  The working group will consist of a group of well know UBC researchers with specific expertise in community planning and development. The working group is to report by to the Board by June of this year.
  4. Hampton Place resident and former journalist, Kathy Griffith, has been appointed to the newly formed Campus Resident Editorial Review Board. 
  5. Following the in camera session of the board the "hardship" parking pilot project around the Old Barn Community Centre was approved unanimously by the Board.

The response to this question was deferred due to a matter that is not currently in the public domain.

  • With respect to UNA on-street Parking: At the January 14, 2014 meeting of the UNA Board of Directors the following motion was passed: “Moved by Tanner Bokor, THAT the Board of Directors supports the recommendation of the Operations and Sustainability Standing Committee to extend the current restricted parking regulations in Hawthorn Place East from Monday-to-Saturday to Monday-to-Sunday with the same operating hours of 8 am to 6 pm.” I note that as of March 10, 2014 (two months later) the signage within Hawthorn Place along Logan Lane and Eagles Drive has not yet been changed to reflect the Board Decision of two months ago.  When will the decision of the board will be implemented?


1 comment:

Mike Feeley said...

Thanks for keeping is informed Charles!

With respect to parking.

This new policy acknowledges a fact that is well know to people living near the 2-hour parking zones in Hawthorn: 2-hr parking zones have utterly failed in their goal of providing convenient parking for users of the Old Barn Community Centre. The UNA staff have observed in their board report that these zones are 95% full during UBC school hours. They didn’t say why the parking full, but the answer is equally well know to our community.

The 2-hr parking zones in Hawthorn have become a free parking area for students (and some others) who are not UNA residents. That this has happened should come as a surprise. Free parking on campus is popular. So popular that students roam up and down Hawthorn and Larkin all day long or sit idling in the roadway waiting for a spot to free up … when another student leaves, of course. And, calling it 2-hr free parking does not do justice to this valuable commodity. Its not 2-hr parking. Its just 2-hr between trips into Hawthorn to wipe the chalk off your tires. I love students. But, I don’t love engine idling, excessive traffic, u-turns in the middle of the street and the other things that come with the current situation.

I have no doubt that residents of Hawthorn would support the objective of this new policy: to provide parking for mobility restricted people using the Barn. This should be a high priority! But, the new passes, I assume, are for parking in the resident-and-visitor areas around the Barn (and the rest of Hawthorn) and not in the free, student parking area. Given that roughly half of Hawthorn and Larkin is designated as 2-hr parking (for students), the resident area is already significantly restricted.

Did the board consider reducing the amount of 2-hr parking, perhaps replacing some of it with 1-hr parking or just eliminating it entirely, given that the UNA staff have acknowledge that it does achieve its goal and that this new policy further restricts parking for residents and their visitors?